Hi all, for this Trek factoid we’re looking
at one of the Federation’s best kept secrets. Omega. Restricted to the highest levels of
the Federation and Starfleet personnel of Captain and above, the Omega Directive supersedes
everything, even the Prime Directive, Starfleet’s non-interference policy.
The United Federation of Planets first exposure to the Omega particle was around 2268 when
the theorised substance became the life-work of one Doctor Bendes Ketteract. He had speculated
of the existence of this energetic little element that in theory contained the same
energy supplied by a warp core. Such a particle couldn’t exist in our universe in its current
state and he even believed that it possibly was present at the Big Bang, the creation
of the universe. You see, these particles destabilise very quickly and when they do,
the do so with an explosive release of energy. Not only is this explosion akin to a warp
core breach, but the resulting energies rip through subspace and destroy this extra spectrum.
The end result is that faster than light of any kind winds up impossible in the exposed
sectors. This means no warp travel and no real-time communications across this area
of space, throwing exploration back several hundred years. It is still unknown if this
damage can ever be reversed. 127 Federation scientists, including Ketteract
were working on creating this molecule in a sanctioned secret starbase in the Lantaru
Sector. They succeeded. For less than a second, they produced a single Omega molecule. Then
it destabilised and destroyed large segments the facility and caused Subnucleonic radiation
to be spread over the area. The worse effect however, was the unexpected. The explosion
ripped through subspace from the point of origin. By the time the explosion dissipated,
the subspace ruptures and destroyed areas had affected seven light-years of subspace
around the installation. If anyone wanted to reach the Lantaru Starbase now, it would
take over seven years of conventional sublight or impulse speeds.
The Federation immediately outlawed the creation of Omega and supressed its existence. They
deemed it too great a threat to be ignored from even other cultures and decreed that
it must never be allowed to be synthesised again. No Federation member may experiment
with creating Omega and the Lantaru sector was explained as a naturally unstable area
of space. All captains of Starfleet, those out there in deep space and the most likely
to encounter the new and unknown were briefed on the true events of Lantaru and the Omega
Directive was born. It was built into Starship Computer software under the encrypted files
Omega 1. Upon detection of Omega, A Federation Starship
would lock all systems bring the ship to a stop and await the captain’s attention displaying
the Omega letter. I find it unlikely that such a drastic reaction would be triggered
if the Starship were occupied in an emergency, but the primary function of this seems to
be to isolate any sensor data that could be glimpsed by the crew and prevent them from
stumbling into further danger. In private, the captain would then receive
a computer-compiled brief of the Omega event in question and then be asked to notify Starfleet
Command via encrypted channel and all information and logs ship-side would also be encrypted.
A specialised team would then be dispatched to confirm the molecules presence and destroy
them. This team would be using radiation meds, insulation and specific shield technology
to keep themselves safe. A specialised gravimetric torpedo could create a reaction in way where
the molecules would be destroyed without detonation and was the preferred method of elimination.
From the name, it sounds like this torpedo was designed to create a sort of gravity well
or pocket to contain any subspace effects but that’s speculation based on the term
gravimetrics as used in star trek. Any research data concerning Omega was also
seized and destroyed. The only time we see it implemented in the
show however was in the unfortunate circumstance of the USS Voyager, which was still in the
middle of the Delta Quadrant and far beyond any Specialised Starfleet Disposal teams.
As such, Captain Janeway followed the directive as best she could but had to improvise and
share knowledge of Omega with her senior staff as well as the former Borg drone, Seven of
Nine. Using the shared knowledge of the Borg’s own experiments on Omega which had begun in
2145 when they assimilated a species with knowledge of the particle, the crew eliminated
a substantial amount of Omega molecules using a Harmonic resonance chamber.
The production of Omega can be synthesised through the use of Boromite though the process
is never detailed for two reasons. One, it probably defies all sorts of real world physics
but that’s not important and two, the Federation does everything in its power to prevent the
spread of this knowledge. If enough Omega molecules are produced in
one go and kept stable for enough time however, they will align themselves into a stabilisation
form that keeps them from exploding, as witnessed by Seven of Nine. This arguably makes Omega
an even more tempting a prize as now it is confirmed to be harness-able. It’s one hell
of a gamble though, all or nothing. Either you create enough Omega to self-stabilise
and have yourself a near-infinite energy source (even then, maybe not for eternity), or you
blow up a quadrant and return the galaxy to a pre-warp state. Forever.
The simulations performed by Seven suggested that artificial stabilisation would work,
and the maths checks out, but if, if there was even a chance that the science behind
it was wrong, then the resulting destruction would be galaxy changing.
Thanks for watching this explanation of the Omega Directive and the importance with which
Starfleet places control of this substance. Until the next video, I’ll see you later,
if Starfleet Intelligence don’t track me down for leaking this information first.